Allison Leigh Smith has been a professional artist for 15 years. The span of her career has touched on many facets in the arts including textile design, education director at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio, and art gallery director on the island of Maui for 7 years.
These days however, you will find her surrounding herself with her highest passion: animals. Smith spends much of her time volunteering for wildlife rescues where she befriends the organizations and the animals they seek to rescue and return to the wild. She photographs her subjects and then paints them in painstaking detail in oil.
As a result of this work, Smith says, "I no longer differentiate between my vocation and avocation. The work I do for animals, although difficult, intimidating, and humble, is the most emotional and meaningful of my life. My paintings are an extension of the time and heart I put in with the animals."
Southwest Art Magazine named Smith an "Artist to Watch" in their June 2018 issue.
"In the paintings of Allison Leigh Smith, one can’t help but notice the endearing expressions of the animals that star in them. The artist has a knack for capturing the personalities of her furry and feathered subjects with technical dexterity, emotion, and humor." -Kim Agricola
Smith expects some challenges to come up while working to complete the Durango Public Art Project, titled Common Threads. "The aim of this project is to include a whole community. We want to please as many people as possible which is difficult to begin with, but it's important to me that it be surprising and thought provoking, as well. The challenge will be in delivering real artistic achievement while responding to the voices of an entire community."
Then Smith added, "I think we can do it though. In fact, I can't wait."
"The challenge will be in delivering real artistic achievement while responding to the voices of an entire community. I think we can do it though.
In fact, I can't wait."